Interview of Brodie, the owner of ZolaTerra
March 29, 2021

Interview of Brodie, the owner of ZolaTerra

One of my favorite things about running Ekologicall is getting the chance to work with amazing brands and small businesses; I meet so many great people who are committed to make a positive impact by offering products or services that contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Today I want to introduce you to Brodie Levadnuk, President - CEO of ZolaTerra, a local small business.

Q) Brodie, please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I currently live in Matthews, NC and am happily married with one daughter and two fur babies. I spent years in Corporate America in a wide variety of roles where I gained a lot of experience with the consumer product marketplace and business development strategies.  I have always wanted to go down the entrepreneurial path and build a company from the ground up, so I leveraged my prior experience to develop and launch ZolaTerra.

Q) Why did you decide to create ZolaTerra?

I have an overwhelming passion to help people, businesses and the Earth in any way I can.  Starting my business over five years ago, my main tenants were, and continue to be, to treat customers in a moral and ethical manner and create healthy living and healthy lifestyle brands that are good for the Earth.  My first product launch is ZolaTerra.  

Q) Tell us about ZolaTerra’s mission and the products / services you offer.

At ZolaTerra, our mission is to create healthy living and lifestyle products that are safe for people, plants, animals and the environment. Keeping things simple and straightforward, you can trust our products to keep your space clean and promote a healthy living environment for everyone.

ZolaTerra’s products are plant-based, vegan, cruelty free, biodegradable, non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets. Our wide product line covers a variety of applications from household, pet and office cleaning to industrial cleaners and degreasers.

ZolaTerra is a plant-based cleaner that is perfect for environmentally conscious companies and people who value sustainability and eco-friendly solutions.  We aim to eliminate one of the most hazardous items from a business or home.

Q) How are ZolaTerra’s products different? Why is it important?

ZolaTerra is a plant-based cleaner that is non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive and does not contain caustic or abrasive materials. Our products, even in a concentrated state, are safe for the skin with virtually no odor and do not require gloves, respirators or special handling.

ZolaTerra works on a microscopic level using a combination of plant-based solvents, micelles and de-scalers to safely remove all types of grime, from a surface or substrate. ZolaTerra effectively cleans while near or practically at neutral pH. Simply stated, ZolaTerra lifts grime to easily wipe, scrub and rinse it away. 

Unlike other "green" products in the market, ZolaTerra is the only plant-based, biodegradable, food safe cleaning product line certified with the NSF Non-Food Compound Product Registration, USDA Certified Biobased Product designation and contributes towards LEED certification points & Materials and Resources Credits.  

Q) You use mineral free water, ionic and non-ionic surfactants, plant-based solvent and gluconate salt as ingredients in your products. Can you please “translate” those terms for us?

As you know, at ZolaTerra, we aim to replace all types of caustic cleaners (such as bleach) with plant-based, more organic, safe and environmentally friendly products.  To prove this, we have received our NSF certification, which means our products can be used around food contact surfaces and the USDA Biopreferred designation, which means ZolaTerra is readily biodegradable.  Our ingredients are not listed on the California Proposition 65 list, and our surfactants are listed on the CleanGredients list, the EPAs’s published list of clean, safe ingredients for products to become Safter Choice certified (in process for ZolaTerra.)  We value the safety of our products and not using ingredients that are caustic or chlorine based is a large part of that effort.  We ensure our products, bottles, labels, etc. are cruelty-free and not tested on animals, which is why we also have the PETA and Leaping Bunny designations.

Mineral free water, which is a key foundation and equates to about 95-98% of the product, is simply water without any minerals.  It is extremely pure, with no additives at all. Our ionic and non-ionic surfactants is just a fancy word for soap. We blend non-ionic surfactants, which help detach grime from a surface, with an ionic surfactant (or liquid soap), which helps to pull away and suspend the grime. Our plant-based solvent is naturally distilled from plants to help dissolve and remove grime. These ingredients work synergistically and are much, much stronger together to get the cleaning done!  These aren’t new super ingredients, but the way we blend them together allows each ingredient to work at its strongest, and is what makes ZolaTerra uniquely powerful and safe for you, your family, your pets and the Earth.

Q) How do you try to prevent or reduce waste?

There are many different direct and indirect ways ZolaTerra can help prevent or reduce waste.

Directly, ZolaTerra purchases and reuses recycled materials for our pails, bottles, sprayers, labels, boxes and especially packaging material.  For our industrial customers, we sell them concentrate and provide education on how to best dilute it for their application.  This saves on shipping, fuel and the amount of product purchased.  

Additionally, we look for partnerships with small businesses, like Ekologicall, that share our passion for reducing waste through reusing and recycling plastic. By providing customers a way to refill and reuse their bottles, Ekologicall is the perfect example of how these partnerships help to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfills. 

Indirectly, ZolaTerra is safe for all surfaces, is readily biodegradable, meets all OSHA and EPA regulations and is accredited by the EPA’s Bio-Based Program. Independent lab testing confirmed that ZolaTerra products are safe when discharged with wastewater and reduce the chemical and biological load upon municipal sewer systems, making it easier for them to process waste.  

For industrial applications, ZolaTerra cleans at a lower temperature versus traditional cleaning methods, reducing the impact of energy consumption on the environment.

Q) Are there any new products or projects you’re working on right now?

We just launched a new eyeglass lens cleaner and are working on developing a new disinfectant.  Creating a safe, non-chlorine-based disinfectant that works with our formula is a challenge, but we expect to have a product solution and sanitation certification shortly.  

Follow us @zolaterraclean on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our latest product developments!

Find ZolaTerra products at here, at the South End Market every Saturday mornings or delivered right to your door.